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83. Ides of March 2023: Jack Sharp

Rum Raisin Imperial Stout 11%
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Jack Sharp, brave, smart, loyal, a strong swimmer & a very good boy, has the distinction of having been Toronto’s founding dog. Jack arrived in Upper Canada in 1793, along with his people, Lt. Governor John Graves Simcoe & family. He was a Newfoundland dog and his kind had been living on the island for longer than living memory.

Jack Sharp was far from the first dog to ever set paw on this turf. First Nations people had been hunting with their canine best friends for thousands of years before our city was so much as a sparkle in Simcoe’s eye. But he played an important role in the creation of what would eventually become Toronto.

In September of 1793, Governor Simcoe, his men and his dog, with the crucial assistance of Ojibway guides, took a trip up the Humber River, along the Holland River to a lake he would name (after his father) Lake Simcoe, then up to Lake Huron. They arrived without incident, but the return trip took a turn for the worse and they eventually found themselves lost, starving and desperate to return to Lake Ontario. And so a plan was hatched: if they didn’t find Toronto within five days, they would have to eat the dog (nooooo!!)

As luck would have it, they found Toronto just in the nick of time, and Jack’s life was saved. In honour of Jack’s bravery, we brewed this warming imperial stout with rum-infused (a nod to Jack’s Newfoundland heritage) raisins. A special thanks goes out to Toronto’s Nickel 9 distillery for supplying their delicious Island Diaz Spiced Rum.

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Tasting Notes

  • OG: 25 Plato
  • IBU: 80
  • SRM: 57
  • Carbonation: 2.35 (Medium Low)
  • Malts: 2 Row Pale, Roasted Barley, Extra Special Roast Malt, DRC, Pale Chocolate, Special B
  • Hops: Magnum
  • Yeast: Escarpment Labs English II
  • Other: Belgian Dark Candi Syrup, Raisins, Island Diaz Rum
  • Appearance: Deep, midnight black with a thick, long-lasting brown head that cascades up the glass after pouring
  • Aroma: Coffee, dried fruit, raisin, sweet malt, cinnamon
  • Taste: Roast malt, rye bread, chocolate, dried stone fruit, raisin, toasted almonds, hint of baking spice and spiced rum
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, silky smooth carbonation, lingering bitterness and warming alcohol. Finishes dry.
  • Overall impression: A huge Imperial Stout with tons of supporting character. Deceptively smooth and easy drinking for its strength. What a big dog would be like if it was a beer.
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